Temporary Event Food Service

What is a temporary license?

  • A license issued to a vendor who would like to serve food or drink during an event or celebration
  • A seasonal temporary license is valid for one year for one stand at any temporary event in Scott County
  • Must be purchased in advance

A temporary food license must be obtained prior to set up and serving, selling or providing food at an event.

  • An event registration enables a civic, business, educational, government, community, or veterans organization (and may include athletic contests), to host, sponsor, or coordinate one temporary event with more than 10 food vendors (except fairs, as defined in Iowa Code Section 174.1, and farmers markets). An application can only be obtained for an event that meets the definition of a temporary event. An event does not include a single vendor selling food in a random location on a random day.

What types of services are offered through the Scott County Health Department temporary licensing program?

The temporary licensing program:

  • Issues licenses for temporary stands and, in certain cases, mobile units
  • Conducts an inspection during the temporary event
  • Will conduct additional inspections as needed

Who needs a temporary license?

  • When the temporary food stand is operating off the premises of a licensed food establishment (i.e., the physical facility, its contents, and the contiguous land or property under the control of the license holder) of your licensed food establishment (or for nonprofits*, off the premises of a facility regularly used by the nonprofit); or
  • When a vendor serves, sells, or provides unpackaged food or beverages (including alcoholic beverages) to the public. (Examples: Tacos, burgers, lemonade, keg beer, mixed drinks, barbecue, pie by the slice, etc.); or
  • When a vendor serves, sells, or provides commercially prepared prepackaged food or beverages that require temperature control for safety. (Examples: Ice cream bars, bottles/cartons of milk, yogurt containers, etc.); or
  • When a vendor serves, sells, or provides cut fruits that require temperature control for safety. (Examples: Cut watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons.)

What is the temporary license cost?

  • The cost for a temporary license:
    • $50.00 for a permit for a single event

If planning to do more than four events in a season, consider applying for an annual temporary license.

An Annual Temporary Food Establishment License is an annual license that is valid for unlimited events the vendor chooses to participate in within Iowa, so long as the event meets the temporary event definition. (This includes the farmer's market).

This type of food business requires a Food Establishment License. You can apply for one using the Annual Temporary License Application below. Applications must be received at least 30 days prior to the first event at which the vendor intends to operate. Annual Temporary Food Establishment License applications that are not received, processed, and approved prior to operating will require a single event temporary food license until the annual license is approved and issued.

Renewal applications and fees must be received prior to the expiration date. Renewals can be submitted up to 90 days before the license expiration date. Online applications and renewals are preferred and are processed faster than paper applications. 

What is the temporary annual license cost?

  • The cost for a temporary license:
    • $200.00 for each vendor per county
      • A separate license application must be submitted for each county where a vendor will operate a temporary food establishment in conjunction with an event.
      • Persons who operate simultaneously at more than one event within a county are required to have a separate license for each food stand.

Requirements: Click here for more information about temporary food establishment and event requirements, including what types of food can be sold.

For nonprofit organizations: Click here.